Can Dentists Call Themselves Cosmetic Specialists Without Any Certifications

Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a “cosmetic specialist” without having the proper certifications. There are plenty of news stories about the negative results of non-certified cosmetic specialists performing procedures without the proper training.

Anyone performing a medical procedure should be fully certified with the proper training and experience. You wouldn’t let your toddler drive a car, nor would you let a non-certified dental cosmetic specialist give you dental implants or whiten your teeth.

Find a Dentist With the Right Education and Certifications

Like a medical doctor, dentists need to go through several years of education after college and medical school if they plan to specialize in one or several areas of cosmetic dentistry. An aspiring dentist will first receive their undergraduate degree in a field such as:

  • • Biochemistry
  • • Microbiology
  • • Biomedical Engineering
  • • Chemistry
  • • Pre-Dentistry Studies

After completing their first four-year program, students will attend medical school for a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Both degrees are technically the same and require rigorous study to pass licensing exams and become a practicing dentist.

Specialized Certifications for Dental Cosmetic Specialties

Dentists need additional training and certifications to specialize in other areas of dentistry, such as:

  • • Periodontics
  • • Prosthodontics
  • • Endodontics

Aspiring dental cosmetic specialists can continue their education through dental school or the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).


An endodontist studies and treats the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth to help fight infections that lead to severe dental pain. If you think you have an infection inside your tooth, your dentist will refer you to an endodontist where they can help with several types of treatments, including:

  • • Root canal
  • • Endodontic surgery
  • • Traumatic dental injuries
  • • Dental implants


A periodontist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums and soft tissues around your teeth.

There are two forms of gum disease: gingivitis, which only affects the gums, and periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can get underneath the tooth.

You may not feel any pain or discomfort, but there are some common signs of gum disease that you can look for:

  • • Loosening or separating teeth
  • • Red or puffy gums
  • • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • • Receding gum line
  • • Persistent bad breath
  • • A metal taste in your mouth


Prosthodontists specialize in severe dental and facial problems, like restoring and replacing missing or broken teeth. The health of your teeth and jaw alignment can affect your entire body. That is why regular dental checkups are necessary to keep yourself healthy.

Your dentist may recommend you to a prosthodontist for many different reasons, including:

  • • Jaw and joint disorders
  • • Oral cancer
  • • Traumatic injuries
  • • Jaw reconstruction
  • • Temporomandibular disorder (TMJ/TMD)

The need for dental cosmetic specialists increases each year. Eating and drinking will darken your teeth over time, even with regular brushing and flossing. Dental cosmetic specialists can help your smile in many ways, including:

  • • Teeth whitening
  • • Bonding
  • • Enamel shaping
  • • Dental implants
  • • Cleft lip/palate

What to Look for in a Dental Cosmetic Specialist

A dentist who specializes in multiple areas of cosmetic dentistry can help you with all your needs. They may even partner with other dentists who specialize in other practices to offer you a full-service dental experience. When searching for a new dentist, find one with the experience and testimonials to back up their certifications.


Talk to people you trust to see what dentist they use or know of one that can help you with your problem. Check reliable online referral sites for ratings and testimonials; don’t just read the good reviews. Look at the bad ones as well. You can also check the Better Business Bureau for their standings.


Before you agree to let any new dentist work on you, find out what certifications they have and whether they are up to date. Ask if they are an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your specific needs and if their qualifications are right for you.

Are you looking for a dental cosmetic specialist in Atlanta, GA? Dr. Hal Arnold at Esthetic & Implant Dentistry is a licensed prosthodontist and cosmetic specialist who can help you with your dental cosmetic needs. Whether you need a crown, new dentures, teeth whitening, or replace or repair missing or damaged teeth, Dr. Arnold can help.

Call Dr. Hal Arnold at Esthetic & Implant Dentistry today at (404) 941-3354 for a dental consultation and learn how Dr. Arnold and his team can help you with all your dental needs.

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